Category Archives: Organization

The Homework Dilemma


H-O-M-E-W-O-R-K.  Tired or assigning, collecting, and correcting the standard workbook sheets? It works fine for the students that put effort into it and/or have the family support to go over it. However, I was noticing an increasing trend of just quickly scribbled answers in order to avoid recess detention. I decided that I needed to make a change.

So, this summer I took a closer look at how I have always assigned homework and revamped it. My objective for assigning homework is for my students to apply what we learned at school that day. I also want them to use their reading, thinking, and writing skills. So this year I am using a homework notebook instead of worksheets.

Once a week I sit down to lesson plan, and I write reflective  homework questions as I write my lesson objectives. Then I print a daily sheet of questions per team.  Every day my students cut and paste their homework questions into their spiral bound notebook. At home they have to read the questions, solve the problems, and explain their thinking. The next morning they discuss their answers with their teammates while I check that their homework was completed. Then we go over the answers whole class and they correct their work if needed. It has been a learning curve for all of us. However, the payoff makes it worth it.

What I like about my new homework procedure:

* Students are more engaged (cutting and gluing) when putting homework materials together.

* Students need to pay attention to the lesson in order to answer their homework questions.

* Students are reading, thinking, and writing.

* There is peer coaching/teaching involved when discussing homework answers.

* Students enjoy discussing their answers with their team and the class.

* Students must still participate in team and class homework discussions even if they are unprepared.

* The number of students coming to school with completed homework assignments has increased.


How do you assign your homework? What are your thoughts on homework?


Mission Possible: Organization


This week was all about organization. Organizing for the classroom, my home files, and Sam’s school projects.

The projects I worked on for the classroom were Day of the Week Drawers, group project material buckets, and my Teacher’s Binder. Once again, I found some ideas on Pinterest to help me with this.

I have tried many organization techniques for my daily materials, but I have not been happy with them. They always ended up looking messy to me. So I was excited when I found teacher organization drawers on Pinterest. The organizers were $4 a piece at Target and the letter stickers were $4 at JoAnn’s. I can’t wait to see how they look on my desk.


I had some letters left over from the first project, so I decided to label the table group baskets I had picked up at the dollar store. These are going to be used to organize special project materials for each group. Hopefully they will make it to my classroom. I keep finding them in Rachel’s bedroom.


Erin Condren lesson planners seem to be all the rage right now. I just couldn’t see spending $59 plus for a lesson planner. It got me thinking about how I am always scrambling for my lesson plan book, grade book, student test data, standards, or meeting notebook. I decided to create an all-in-one-place teacher binder. So I picked up a $4 binder at Target that included dividers, binder pocket, ruler, and binder. Then I hit TPT and started looking at teacher binder inserts for free. I chose:

* Editable Teacher Binder Cover

* Monthly Calendar

* Notes and To Do List

I also have sections for pacing guides, data reports, and standards. Although this project started out as a lesson planner, I have decided to keep everything I need to lesson plan in it, and I will have a stand alone lesson planner.


I had bags of Sam’s art projects and school work in my closet, next to my bed, and in the garage. Needless to say, this irritated Karl to no end. So I have started going through those bags and organizing them in pockets to be kept on one of my closet shelves.


Now I just need to finish Sam’s pockets and organize the garage this weekend. I’m off to work on  my classroom next week!